WSU student helps rescue speed-glider

Dakota Hyde misses classes to save lives.

“The experiences are priceless,” said Hyde, a volunteer for Weber County Search and Rescue of more than two years and a Weber State University student.

Shortly after 8 a.m. Friday, Hyde was dispatched yet again to help a speed-glider who crashed just below Malans Peak near Mount Ogden. He and a fellow rescuer were the first to reach the 31-year-old South Ogden man.

“He was very calm when we arrived and was able to carry on a calm conversation and tell us the events that had happened,” Hyde said.

With two friends, the man ran and jumped off the summit of Malans Peak, but his parachute failed to deploy, and he crashed some hundred yards down the mountain. He sustained injuries to his legs and had an open fracture on his right ankle, but was in stable condition.

“It’s a very traumatic experience for the patient,” Hyde said. “No doubt about that.”

Hyde, an emergency medical technician, is on the search and rescue’s technical climb team and helped hoist the man in a basket from the crash site to the summit, where a medical helicopter was awaiting to transport him to McKay-Dee Hospital. The grade was steep enough that Hyde, an avid climber, had to use his hands for balance.

“I personally always wanted to know that if I were recreating outdoors, that I would have the skill set necessary to get myself out of a difficult situation, and I wanted to help others, so it was a nice fit for me,” Hyde said.

Hyde said he’s been on numerous callouts since he started volunteering, and that, although he doesn’t like missing classes, it’s an honor to serve.

“We do volunteer, but we get so much more out of it than what we put in,” Hyde said. “There’s a great camaraderie on the team, and we learn a lot through training. The leaders at the sheriff’s office take good care of us.”

Hyde teamed with another WSU student, Kai Safsten, and a WSU faculty member in Friday’s rescue.